By Yan Xi
Good News Productions International and College Press Publishing
At the mention of rebirth, I believe that the brothers and sisters in the Lord all know it and may think of the exchange between the Lord Jesus and Nicodemus recorded in the Bible, “Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” (John 3:3-4). We all know that the so-called rebirth is absolutely not the meaning of being born again from his mother’s womb as what Nicodemus comprehended. Then what does the rebirth mean? Some brothers and sisters believe, “The lord Jesus has taken on our sins. We have gained the Lord’s redemption by belief in Him. Because of this we are given life and reborn.” And some brothers and sisters believe, “As long as we weep bitterly, repent and confess all the sins we have committed before the Lord, and then accept baptism, the Lord will forgive our sins, and bestow us a new life. Thus, we will be reborn.”
I once comprehended it like this, but I always felt uncertain and kept thinking: Is it really so simple that I will be reborn if I repent and confess to the Lord? If so, why was it recorded in, “And holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14)? From this we can see that we still need pursue to be cleansed, rather than only confess our sins. Now, each of the believers in the entire church confesses his sins to the Lord every day, but the sins didn’t reduce but increase day by day. Moreover, the pastors, elders and co-workers scramble for reputation and fortune, connive and intrigue, discriminate against those who disagree with them, and secretly spend money. And brothers and sisters even scheme against one another, judge and condemn others at will, pursue the evil trends, serve mammon…. Why do we still do such things even though we know clearly that these don’t accord with the Lord’s teachings? Can we, who are still of our old self, be Born again?
I thought of what the Scripture says: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Then that is to say, the real rebirth means that man breaks away from the old life of committing sins, and submits to the new life of Christ. According to these scriptures, it is sufficient to prove that the believers now are out of the state of being reborn. Then how can we be reborn? What is the path to being Born again?
Later, I constantly examined the scriptures. I saw Jesus said to the Jews believing in Him in John 8:32: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” From the Lord’s words we see that it is the truth that can make people free. Only after people gain the truth and have the truth and God’s words as the reality of life, are they able to overcome Satan, and completely break free from the bondage and restrictions of sins, so as to never again sin to disobey God or resist God. Thus, they will completely break away from the degenerate life of sinning by day and confessing by night, rely on the truth and God’s words to live, truly obey God and worship God, and live a free and liberate life before God. Because thesaid, “I am the way, the truth and the life,” it can be seen that if we want to gain life, we must gain the truth from God first. Those who cannot gain the truth will never receive life, and they will forever be bound and constrained by sins, and become slaves of sins. From this we can see that our belief that we receive life through repenting and confessing sins before God and then gaining peace and joy of His forgiveness and we are reborn after being baptized is merely our conceptions and imaginations. This is not in conformity with the truth and the Lord’s will at all.
As we all know, after mankind was corrupted by Satan, God has begun His work of six-thousand-year management to save mankind. In the beginning the work of the Age of Law was carried out in Israel, and God issued His laws and commandments according to the needs of mankind at that time, and led them to live on earth, which made them know some common knowledge about mankind’s life and about living as a man, and how to worshipGod, how to live with others, how to build the temple, and so on. Moreover, He also told them that they would be forgiven as long as they offered up a sin offering after they committed sins. By these He restricted them not to commit sins. But at the end of the Age of Law, men became more and more corrupt, to the extent that they couldn’t abide by the laws and didn’t have the best offerings to God since they had committed too many sins. They faced the danger of perishing under the punishments for violating the laws. Thus, at the time many people were possessed by demons and afflicted by Satan. God couldn’t bear to see man was trampled and fooled by Satan like this, so He ended the work of the Age of Law and began the new work of the Age of Grace. He personally came to earth in the flesh and became the sin offering for man to redeem man from sins and forgive man’s sins. As long as man believe in Him, accepts Jesus as the Savior, and confesses and repents to the Lord Jesus, then he will get the sin offering bestowed by God so as to be forgiven of his sins and no longer be condemned, and live in the state of peace and joy. However, after believing in the Lord, why do man still live in sins and be unable to put into practice the way of the Lord? What is the reason? That is because the work done by the Lord Jesus is not that of purifying man to allow him to cast off his sinful nature thoroughly, yet it only redeems man from sins. Man is forgiven of his sins after accepting the work of the Lord Jesus, but the sinful nature is still rooted within. So to this day, we can’t help committing sins to disobey and resist God, living in sins and being bound by sins. The Lord Jesus said: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16:12:13). God said clearly that He would carry out a step of work, based on the needs of mankind, to provide man truth and life, which is the way to help man thoroughly free from the dark influence of Satan, cast off satanic disposition, and break away from sins, so that he can gain a new life and be reborn from God’s words.
Now the Spirit of truth has come, He is Almighty God incarnate in. On the basis of the redemption work of the Lord Jesus and according to the current condition of man’s corruption, Almighty God has expressed several million words to judge all mankind, reveal and dissect the corrupt disposition and the satanic corrupt nature of all mankind. If man accepts such work of God, then he will be purified and saved thoroughly, and live out the likeness of a true person according to God’s words. And he will be born again because of this. Just as God says: “If one can truly enter into the reality of God’s words from the matters and the words required by Him, then he will be a person perfected by God. It can be said that the work and the words of God are completely effective for this person, that God’s words become his life, he obtains truth, and he can live according to God’s words. After this the nature of his flesh, that is, the foundation of his original existence, will shake and collapse. After one has the words of God as their life they become a new person. The words of God become his life; the vision of God’s work, His requirements of man, His revelation of man, and the standards for a true life that God requires man to achieve become his life—he lives according to these words and these truths, and this person becomes perfected by the words of God. He experiences rebirth and becomes a new man through His words.” From this we can see that after man accepts the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, is capable to truly know and hate his own satanic nature and substance, and casts off the things of Satan, that is, after the foundation of his original existence begins to shake and collapse, and Satan’s laws for man’s life are replaced by God’s words and the truth, then man can lead a new life according to the standard required by God—only thus can he be the one who truly gets rebirth. In real life the root reason why we are unable to practice the words of God, to live at peace with others, to bear with others to achieve loving others as ourselves, and to have the singular love to God is because we are restricted and controlled by our satanic corrupt nature. Things of the nature can’t be restrained by man. Only through the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, the revelation of the facts, and moreover, all kinds of trials and refinements, can they be shaken and changed; finally man is able to cast off these corruptions and live by God’s words. Those who put into practice being an , love God, submit to God, and act as a true creation of God are the ones God loves, the new creatures through God’s words as well.
God says: “Christ of the last days brings life, and brings the enduring and everlasting way of truth. This truth is the path through which man shall gain life, and the only path by which man shall know God and be approved by God. If you do not seek the way of life provided by Christ of the last days, then you shall never gain the approval of Jesus, and shall never be qualified to enter the gate of the kingdom of heaven….” From these words of God we can see that if man wants to enter the kingdom of God, he must accept the words of Christ of the last days as provision of life, for Christ of the last days is the embodiment of truth, and the ever-flowing wellspring of living water. These truths are the reality of the truth mankind should possess, are the only path for mankind to be purified, saved and obtained by God and gain life. If we gain all the truths from the words of Christ of the last days, then we will gain life, in the end be brought into God’s kingdom, and inherit the beautiful blessings and promises bestowed by God. However, if man can’t keep up with the footsteps of Christ of the last days, and can’t gain all the truths Almighty God has expressed for man to be saved, then he will never gain life or be approved by God, much less be qualified to enter the gate of the kingdom of God.
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